Waianae faces ‘big task’ against Mililani

Waianae's Dayne Evangelista (79), Tytyn Kahooilihala (44) and Zefften Avilla-Thompson chased Farrington quarterback Stephen Eter on Friday night. Steven Erler / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Waianae coach Walter Young called it a “big task” when told his team would be playing Mililani in the Oahu Interscholastic Association semifinals on Friday at Aloha Stadium.

And it is a tall task. No. 3 Mililani (9-0) is humming on all cylinders and no defense has given them a tough rub yet.

That’s where Waianae’s defense comes in, possibly. The seventh-ranked Seariders’ unit on that side of the ball will have to play well if they are to have a chance on Friday at Aloha Stadium. Campbell gets a rematch with Kahuku in the other league semifinal game. The winners will clinch a spot in the Division I-Open state championship and move on to the league title game Nov. 4.

And while the Seariders (6-3) had to hold on to beat pesky Farrington (5-5) on Friday by the count of 27-21, they did have something that many teams do not have. His name is Rico Rosario and the shifty, hard-running back profits from an ever-improving and proud offensive line.

“All we have to do is make a little hole for Rico,” Waianae offensive lineman Wilson Kerisano said. “Rico is a real good running back who is very hard to tackle and he breaks tackles easily.”

It will be imperative for Waianae’s offense to move the ball, and the Justin Tacgere to Keoki Davis connection helped in the win over the Govs. Davis caught three passes for 81 yards.

But, the importance of the Waianae defense in this upcoming big game cannot be underestimated. Mililani’s offense prides itself on taking space that is given to them by opposing defenses, so the questions will be answered: “What exactly will Waianae give them?” and “Will Mililani find the soft spots or run into a roadblock?”

Mililani’s offensive point totals:

Game 1: 2 (forfeit win at Kaiser)
Game 2: 47 (vs. Leilehua)
Game 3: 49 (at Castle)
Game 4: 49 (at Clayton Valley Charter, Concord, Calif.
Game 5: 42 (at Farrington)
Game 6: 42 (at Kapolei)
Game 7: 44 (vs. Nanakuli)
Game 8: 52 (vs. Kailua)
Game 8: 49 (vs. Moanalua)

Waianae’s points yielded
Game 1: 49 (vs. Saint Louis)
Game 2: 7 (vs. Kapolei)
Game 3: 37 (vs. Kahuku)
Game 4: 14 (vs. Campbell)
Game 5: 20 (vs. Moanalua)
Game 6: 15 (at Radford)
Game 7: 0 (vs. Aiea)
Game 8: 0 (forfeit win at Kaiser)
Game 9: 21 (vs. Farrington)

Thanks to Rosario’s 164 yards on the ground, Waianae doubled up on Farrington in total scrimmage yards — 352 (271 rushing, 81 passing) to 172 (40 rushing, 132 passing).

J-zen Napierala-Rose had two interceptions for the stout Seariders’ defense, including a pick-6. Kanai Mauga and Toto Mailo made their presence felt on the front seven. They both had a fumble recovery and some in-your-face hits. Zefften Avilla-Thompson and Dayne Evangelista also contributed with tackles for loss.

The 21 points the Govs scored is a bit deceiving. Only one TD was against the Waianae defense. The other two were via an interception return and a fumble-recovery return.

Mililani’s offense, as alluded to previously, is a different animal than the one run by Farrington. A stable of running backs complement quarterback Dillon Gabriel and his elusive receivers, including the speedy Ryan Chang, who is a beast to cover.

“We’ve got Mililani,” Young said. “It’s a big task at hand. We will do (in practice) what we’ve gotta do for them and prepare the best for them that we can.”

Added Kerisano: “We’re really pumped and are really looking forward to it. Mililani is no joke, but we’re prepared for it. We’ve got our running game down and our defense is solid.”


  1. Mahatma Gandhi October 15, 2017 11:42 am

    How did Kanai Mauga not get recruited by the ILH?

  2. Choloropicrin October 15, 2017 12:36 pm

    Mililani will be looking for revenge since Waianae took them out of last year’s open tournament. Waianae D needs to disrupt the timing and creat some turnovers. Offensively, linemen need to block and drive the d-linemen back, feed Rico the ball and get first downs. They say it’s a big task, but they did beat them last year.

    Mililani needs to play disciplined ball, that’s why they lost last year, poor game awareness with bad penalties at the wrong time. Their discipline is partly the reason why they lost the game last year.

  3. Coach C October 15, 2017 1:26 pm

    All Waianae needs is 3.5 yards per run. Keep the clock running. Then get on D and dig deep. Just stay in the game.

  4. SmashMoufFootball96792 October 15, 2017 2:00 pm

    Waianae not having there do everything kicker/punter is a big deal… extra points are no gimme let alone we got no fg threat .. kickoffs and punt field position is greatly affected too. Tate Abell was a big part of a team that likes to run the ball and control field position with good punting. IT will be a “BIG TASK” indeed. Waianae needs a near perfect game to be in the game at the end. BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL NEED TO SHOW UP AND BE ON THRE A GAME

  5. 88 October 15, 2017 2:56 pm

    Yeah, that and the cloak of invincibility, the sword of Shan Yu, the eye of erlik and Captain Americas shield. If they have those things they should be fine.

  6. PlayaHatersAnonymous October 15, 2017 8:57 pm

    I don’t know what you guys are thinking, Mililani is disciplined, Waianae has not the defense to cover this triple threat offense and a stout defense. Saint Louis is the only matchup for these Trojans of Milvil. They are all healthy and have just dominated teams right from the open gates. Seariders only chance is if they take out QB Dillon Gabriel because he is the field general! I’m a Kahuku fan but I’d be worried if they played Mililani! Sorry WAIANAE the road stops here! Unless they can beat Campbell for 3rd seed in the open!

  7. Rrforlifebaby October 15, 2017 10:30 pm


  8. Kanekapila October 16, 2017 1:43 am

    We have a legit shot at the title this year.our defense is as good as any,our offense is more than capable of being that well oiled machine that is waianaes ground and pound.with #67 at center leading the way he’s figured out every opposing teams stud nose guard.only returning to the game in week 4 due to an acl tear suffered during practice the exact same time last year.the October win over Mililani last year was #67s final game of 2016,soon to follow was surgery and physical therapy till he got cleared the wendsday leading to a home game the same week (2017,wk4) against campbell.he came back just in time

  9. HBoy October 16, 2017 6:30 am

    Let the games begin. Good luck to all four teams this weekend. Play hard and leave it all on the field and no matter the result know that you did your best. Pray for safety and no injuries, good sportsmanship and honest officiating. GO BIG RED.

  10. Alpha October 16, 2017 10:24 am

    Real test for Mililani, gonna be hard hitting game. Hopefully the refs aren’t flag happy this time around.

  11. Mililani Hammer October 16, 2017 12:43 pm

    I’ll never count out waianae!! They’ve always been a solid team in the past. I wish them good luck And stay healthy. To my trojans Keep grinding Look forward and never look back..#onefamily#trojannation!!!

  12. Knation October 16, 2017 1:46 pm

    Mililani is rock solid on offense. There oline is the best in the state with the best quarterback. Even with a D like kahuku and st.louis they can still put up 40 plus points. Gabriel will pick any team apart behind that oline. Waianae only chance is to move the chains and score on every possession they have. Defensively they need to pressure and make turnovers.

  13. Awrite!! October 16, 2017 5:14 pm

    I dont think this years Mill Offense is as good as a few years ago with Milton/Melipeai. I can see STL and Kahuku defense over powering and out playing the Mill offense. History is a good place to look and Millilani always have a big drop off from the 1st to 2nd stringers. Kahuku and STL are deep at every position. Time will tell so lets hurry up and get the playoffs going already!

    Hoping for a safe and injury free post season for all teams!

  14. TooMeke October 17, 2017 8:34 am

    @Knation – when have I heard that before??? hmmm….

  15. TooMeke October 17, 2017 8:35 am

    Good luck to all the teams – I think Waianae can make it a game… winning might be too much to ask… but you never know…

    Hoping for good games and no injuries.


  16. Choloropicrin October 17, 2017 9:22 am

    Everyone’s offense is great until they play Kahuku. If Mililani can make it past Waianae, then we’ll see. But in the mean time they need to get past a pretty good Waianae defense. A defense that held a potent Kapolei and a talented Campbell offense to 7 and 14 points. I know. Mililani has Gabriel, but if they can get a good pass rush and disrupt the timing they might be able to get a pick or 2.

  17. Alpha October 17, 2017 10:02 am

    Let’s not forget Mililani can pound the rock, Olomua, Muasau, Malepeai are +220lb rb’s that can start for any high school team in the state. It’s one thing trying to defend Gabriel and the pass, but behind that o-line those 3 backs have the potential to break the game wide open. I can’t wait cause I am a big fan of Waianae defense (Mauga, Mailo) and it will probebly come down to play calling which I give the edge to Mililani.

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